Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists

Posted by: James Maxwell

Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 03/27/09 08:00 PM

Originally Posted By eschulzeMD

"For those For those that don't know about this gem of a concert series in the DC area, you should check out:

I am very glad that I did, thanks to eschulzeMD. You can check it out yourself.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 04/05/09 10:06 AM

My husband, 3 children and I attended the concert by Alon Goldstein on Friday at the Downtown Piano Works series. We were totally astounded both by his playing and thoughtful comments on each piece. We have to say that it was in the top three solo piano concerts we have ever seen! Who would have thought we could experience that in a small venue in Frederick. If anyone else from Piano World was there, please tell us your thoughts.

Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 05/13/09 09:09 AM

Just an update. We saw Amit Peled's concert there, and he was truly amazing. The room was perfect for Cello and piano, and the tone of the 1689 Andreas Guarneri Cello was unbelievable. The CFIIIS was played by Eliza Ching with such finesse as to not overpower the Cello. We are going to be out of town and will miss Thomas Pandolfi, unfortunately, but will be back for as many of the other concerts as we can. Just a beautiful concert series. FYI
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 07/26/09 10:29 AM

"Seeker" from this forum just sent me the program from the upcoming free concert at Downtown Piano Works and it looks marvelous. Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Godowsky, Mendelsohnn...I just looked and the concerts through the year's end and they look amazing with Alon Goldtein returning (my favorite), Amit Peled, Enrico Elisi:

This really reminds me of what Cathy Harl used to do!
Posted by: Seeker

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 09/17/09 02:43 PM

Disclaimer On: I've played in this series myself.
Disclaimer Off:

This is the only place I know anywhere near me in the USA where I can hear other good pianists play in an intimate setting on a fine instrument (currently a gorgeous C7 from Yamaha's concert reserve). In these times when recitals for small audiences are not comercially feasible, it's great that Downtown Piano Works provides the venue and the instrument for making and hearing piano music in this way.

There are 2 concerts planned for the last week of September and the first week of October respectively - Enrico Elisi in an all Mozart program and Alon Goldstein in a mixed program.
I plan on being in the audience for both of them.

I played a 2nd concert in the series in early August to a packed house. On the program were a baker's dozen works from "The Golden Age of the Piano" including some rarely heard pieces by Edouard Schutt and Godowsky's Gb Major Etude, "Nocturne", based on Chopin's Op.10 # 7.

I found the audience wonderfully appreciative and responsive to my playing and spoken commentary, and playing the aforementioned C7 was a delight. The piano felt great, and to my ears it sounded fine too.

Come on out and join me at the next concert and help keep the small piano recital alive in the 21st century.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 01/09/10 08:37 PM

This series just continues to amaze me! Seeker was wonderful, as usual. We saw the Alon Goldstein, Amit Peled, Alex Fiterstein trio "warm up" in December, and the same concert got rave reviews by the New York Times 2 days later:

The concerts are just wonderful, and truly a "hidden gem" in Frederick. Shai Wosner will be coming in March! He is one of my absolute favorite pianists, and I have seen him in Philly and the Kennedy Center. Again, check out this amazing series:

Posted by: Piano World

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 01/10/10 07:53 PM

Thanks for the report Erika, sounds like a great time.

I'll try to remember to mention the series again in our next newsletter.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 03/07/10 12:32 PM

We saw the Chihara Trio there last evening, and they were fabulous. They will be playing in Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in a few weeks, so this was their warm-up. The sound in that room is just incredible, and the new C7 they placed there from Yamaha's concert division blended incredibly well with the Viola and Clarinet. It was just tonal perfection last night. I still can't believe that we will see Shai Wosner there on the Match 19th! Was anyone else there from PW? Let me know...we'd love to meet up with more PW'ers there..maybe get dinner before.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 05/02/10 02:54 PM

I have been meaning to update everyone on the recent concerts we have seen. This free series continues to astound me. Shai Wosner was simply, well, "unbelievable". The third movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" left us utterly breathless. We have never seen such tonal range and pedal control in our lives. Andrei Licaret was so impressive, and you immediately understand why Leon Fleischer is sought after as a mentor and pedagogue. Alon Goldstein (another former Fleischer student) is my personal favorite. Such a combination of fabulous concert pianist and musical scholar. So eloquent both on the piano as well as his descriptions of the pieces, composers, etc. I have never been a fan of vocal works, but Hyunah Yu literally brought tears to our eyes....I recently received an e-mail from Downtown Piano Works informing all the attendees about Alon's 2011 engagement with the London Philharmonic! The upcoming lineup I received is staggering: Amit Peled (and his magical Guarneri Cello), Alon Goldstein, Thomas Pandolfi and Shai Wosner again! If you have never seen performances in intimate rooms, we highly recommend them. It adds even moreso to the works to hear the descriptions and be mere feet away from such talent! One thing that Alon Goldstein said in his last concert that really stuck with me; "I belong to a school that believes the pianist is at the service of the music. The Music is the 'star' While the pianist is absolutely indispensible, he is merely the translator who injects life into the notes." So true. So amazingly true. (and I'll never have the gift to interpret like that no matter how many hours I spend at it! Here is the link to next free concerts:
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 06/22/10 02:40 PM

My husband and I attended the June 18th free concert at Downtown Piano Works by cellist Amit Peled and pianist Dina Vainshtein. I would normally give my impressions, but alas, both the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun music critics were in attendance, so I'll defer to them :):

"Up Close with Amit Peled in Frederick, Courtesy of Piano Store":

"In Performance: Peled for Free":

To say that this series is astounding (and FREE) would be an understatement. With the two music critics glowing about the performance and series I fear that getting in (already tedious) will be next to impossible, frown but here is the link for piano lovers!

Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 08/28/10 10:48 AM

Update for all of you who haven't seen this series yet. Shai Wosner is in the top 5 pianists that we have ever seen. Never have we heard someone who has such dynamic control as well as musicality! Thomas Pandolfi will be there next month. We met two other PW'ers there and had an amazing time. There is just something about being so close that you hear the artist draw a deep breath before a long passage....unbelievable. We still cannot fathom how Downtown Piano Works can afford this type of talent....Our biggest problem is we cannot get in all the time because they fill up so fast....Just marvelous! E.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 11/08/10 02:06 PM

Wow.Wow.Wow! This series simply continues to stun my husband and me. We saw Alon Goldstein with Cellist Inbal Segev on October 19th (both were magnificent) and Amit Peled play on October 27th. (Hindemith even sounded good!) I was just e-mailed a link to the New York Times review of Peled's performance at Lincoln Center....but we saw it first in Frederick, MD.....Hard to believe.

I am curious to see Sara Daneshpour this month. I have heard she is quite a player for only early 20's. Also, I noticed that Van Cliburn gold winner Alex Kobrin will be playing there in April of 2011. It is just so amazing to see performers of this caliber a few feet away, and with the explanations they give after each piece....simply incredible! E.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 01/30/11 02:01 PM

We saw two more concerts at Downtown Piano Works. Sarah Daneshpour was such a marvel! She was stunning in Chopin's Sonata #2 in B flat minor. How someone so dimunitive can get that kind of power?! She was Leon Fleisher's student at Curtis, no less. We cannot wait to see her again. The highlight for us was Alon Goldstein, Amit Peled and Ilya Kaler aka "Tempest Trio". We heard them last Wednesday during the DC area blizzard, (5 hours to drive 30 miles worth it!) and the concert was full! Maybe it was the three amazing solosits. Maybe it was the two Guarneri instruments. Maybe it was the 3 Brahm's trios for Violin, Violoncello and Piano. Maybe it was the best chamber concert we have ever none. Still amazed, still stunned and still humbled by this free series.
Regards, Erika.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 05/09/11 03:15 PM

Dear PW'ers,

We attended the Alexander Kobrin (Van Cliburn Gold 2005) concert on April 15th, and Shai Wosner's concert last Friday. We haven't been able to get seats for a while, and with this talent, no wonder. Kobrin was sublime, and we were told by the owners of Downtown Piano Works that WETA 90.9 would be broadcasting this performance on June 13th 2011!

To say that Shai Wosner was incredible wouldn't even do him justice. His runs were simply flawless in the Beethoven and his counterpoint was so perfect in the Handel piece.

If this wasn't enough, we received an e-mail that Leon Fleisher with his wife, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher and Alon Goldstein (my favorite!!)would be playing in their series this month. I have no idea how Downtown Piano Works is able to bring so much talent to their shop? I am constantly blown away by these small venue, solo concerts, and find that I like them far better than large halls! For anyone who hasn't seen these:

Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 09/16/11 01:47 PM

Dear PW'ers,

Although we missed the Leon Fleisher and another Alexander Kobrin concerts, we were extremely fortunate to see Alon Goldstein warm up for playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.3 in C minor, opus 37. Interestingly enough, the orchestral reductions were played on a digital piano, and it sounded extremely good. I asked after, and was told that the digital was actually the sample from the concert instrument on the stage playing against it. Goldstein was phenomenal, as usual....and WHAT a personality.....eager to speak to the audience, like a kid. SO talented! We cannot wait to hear Shai Wosner again in October. Downtown Piano Works may have the best roster of pianists outside of the WPAS in DC. is absolutely free......truly phenomenal.

Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 03/06/12 03:17 PM

I was lucky enough to hear both Irina Nuzova in January, and Alon Goldstein in February. I am still amazed by the talent they are able to bring. Alexander Kobrin, a Van Cliburn Gold medalist and one of my favorite young pianists is coming back this month, and I really want to see him! E.
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 09/06/12 01:28 PM

It has been a while since we were able to get in to see these wonderful concerts, but we were able to hear Shai Wosner in August. He is just an outstanding young pianist!We also heard the recording on WETA of Alon Goldstein's performance at Downtown Piano Works. It was unbelievable in terms of interpretation, tonal color and dynamics. It seems like Goldstein, Kobrin and Wosner warm up in this series a few times/year. What a treat! We have bumped into one other PW'er, and have heard "Seeker" play there as well. Does anyone else go from the DC area, as we'd love to meet up?
Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 10/07/13 04:14 PM

Been far too long since we have gotten to see a concert at Downtown Piano Works, but caught Amit Peled playing his 1689 Andrea Guarneri cello with Neale Perl playing his 1704 Joseph Guarneri cello together in September.....Just simply phenomenal. Interestingly, both these instruments were probably in the Guarneri workshop at the same time, as the son worked with the father! When you hear a giant like Peled play in such a small place it is stunning. The accompanist, Noreen Cassidy-Polera was incredible...seeming to anticipate every move Peled made. She should be a soloist! For those who don't know:

We are going to hear Sara Daneshpour this Saturday. For those in the DC area, this may be the best classical series, bar none.

Posted by: eschulzeMD

Re: Free Piano Concerts in DC Area by Famous Pianists - 04/26/14 04:45 PM

Dear Pw'ers,

It's been so long since I have been able to attend a concert at Downtown Piano, but was able to hear Jonathan Biss for the first time in this series. WOW. Beethoven's "Waldstein" was just unbelievable. I have never heard such dynamics from a piano, or pianist. Next week, I got a spot to hear Shai Wosner! I have to say that this little room and series may be the best I have ever seen in any city.